Re: Possible huge business

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 01 Jun 1999 12:13:03 -0500

Brian Atkins wrote:
> I have seen this attitude a lot over the past several months
> (in myself too)... ideas pop up, seem wonderful, but the person
> envisioning it does not have the wherewithal to just do it.
> Seems that if there was some kind of company that would pay
> people for ideas, and then use its resources to develop them
> that it could really make some dough. Like Hollywood paying
> writers for scripts- the writers don't make much cash, but
> writing is what they love; the studios make all the $$$. Hmmm

If anyone wants business ideas, I can give them away for free. It's not like I have a limited supply or anything. As far as I can tell from examination of the information industry, an idea is basically worth nothing. The more people realize this, the more will be willing to give away their ideas.

For example, I'd like to see an Internet gambling organization that ran a zero-sum game (no house odds) and made its money selling advertising. Why? To break the government lotteries at ludicrous odds targeting the poor and destitute. What is this idea worth? Not much, because I believe the government doesn't want anyone else offering better odds to the poor. But even if it was legal (anyone live in a country where it is?), I'd still give the idea away. Like the other 500 great ideas I keep in a little box somewhere, it needs doing and it's more likely to get done if I don't keep it a secret. (If anyone starts an Internet company around this, just send me 0.1% of the stock, if you feel like it.)

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas; if your ideas are any good you'll have to shove them down people's throats."

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way